NW Gas Agreement: After hours of deliberation and conversations among the Corvallis City Council, NW Natural Gas has signed off on a three-year extension to the existing gas agreement, but that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal just yet.
At the Corvallis City Council Jan. 3 meeting, the council voted 6-3 to shorten the 10-year contract agreement allowing for the contract to be reopened in three years instead of five or ten.
“We’ve signed a 3-year extension of the existing franchise agreement with Northwest Natural per the Council’s direction,” said City of Corvallis Public Information Officer Patrick Rollens. “The Council still has the authority to adopt the original 10-year franchise agreement that was negotiated.”
The council is not expected to make any additional changes on the current agreement that was extended three years. However, if the Council adopts the 10-year franchise agreement that was negotiated previously, and if NW Natural agrees, then the new terms of the 10-year agreement will go into effect.
“It’s important to note that, although the Council went with a 3-year extension of the existing franchise agreement, they still have the authority to adopt the original 10-year franchise agreement that was negotiated with Northwest Natural. If they did so, the 10-year agreement would replace the 3-year extension that is currently in place,” said Rollens. “It’s not quite a settled issue just yet. We will know more later this month.”
The council is scheduled to continue discussions on the agreement at the Jan 17. council meeting
Supportive Housing Project: Benton County Commissioners are working with Corvallis Housing First (CHF) on creating a safer environment around a proposed housing development in Corvallis near the Benton County Public Works Shop.
At the BOC work session on Jan 10., commissioners discussed the necessary steps to mitigate potential dangers associated with the proposed housing development called Third Street Commons. In a letter to commissioners from CHF, two above-ground storage tanks on the public works site hold explosive and flammable liquid fuel.
Third Street Commons is being developed on the former Budget Inn hotel site and will include 46 units in a new multifamily development. CHF purchased the site in 2021 for $2.35 million using an Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) program called Project Turnkey.
CHF is working with commissioners on the risks for the project due to proximity to the fuel tanks, regulatory requirements applicable to the project, and discussion and proposed next steps.
By: Jennifer Williams